Saturday, April 28, 2018

The Glory of Spring at Northview Gardens


Spring finally arrived in Pennsylvania. I celebrated with a visit to Northview Gardens in Ambler; my husband and my friend Janet accompanied me. It was raining, but Janet said we could make our own sunshine. Northview is the home of Jenny Rose Carey, senior director of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society's (PHS) Meadowbrook Farm. Jenny Rose and I met at a master gardeners' conference a couple of years ago and have been good friends ever since. When PHS offered a private tour and lunch at Northview, I was very excited to participate. This was my second time there; I recorded my first visit HERE. We joined the other visitors for coffee and snacks in Northview's carriage house. Jenny Rose introduced us to the wonderful world of historic (pre-1940) daffodils, demonstrating with cut blooms from her garden. She described how the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) places daffodil cultivars in 13 divisions, starting with the trumpet daffodil in Division 1 and ending with daffodils 'distinguished solely by botanical name' in Division 13. I was amazed at the diversity. My old brain found it difficult to assimilate all this information at first (it's good there wasn't a test) but upon my return home it was fun to look at the daffodils in my garden and assign them to the appropriate divisions. I must confess that I couldn't do this without the cheat-sheet that Jenny Rose gave us. My interest in unusual daffodils was peaked, so I investigated the American Daffodil Society's website. I urge you to take a look. Some amazing, unusual blooms -- who knew?

When we started the tour, our first stop in the 4 1/2 acre garden was at the Moon Beds with their daffodil mass-plantings. It poured rain since the moment we arrived, so raincoats, wellies, and umbrellas were in order. I was thankful that H.H. held an umbrella over me and my camera so I could take pictures.

Jenny Rose Carey shows us the daffodils in the Moon Beds.

As we walked around the flower beds, I was gratified to see some daffodil cultivars that I grow, and love, in my own garden:

I grow Narcissus cyclamineus with its swept back petals.
Large cupped daffodil. I have one similar. Mine is Narcissus 'Joyce Spirit'
Trumpet daffodil with ruffled white blooms. I have them on my Daffodil Walk.

There were not only daffodils but many more spring blooms in Jenny Rose's gardens. I've grouped some of them by color:

Perfect Pinks
Difficult to pick a favorite!

I fell in love with this snake's head fritillary and on my return home I ordered some for fall delivery.

Fritillaria meneagris called Checkered lily or Snake's head fritillary

Wonderful Whites
Top: Anemonella thalictroids. Right: Leucojum aestrivum. Left: Trillium pusillum 'Roadrunner'

Beautiful Blues
Top: Brunnera macrophylla Bottom: Mertensia virginica Virginia bluebells
Still raining -- Jenny Rose points to Virginia bluebells

Virginia bluebells with raindrops -- so beautiful!

Since my last visit, Jenny Rose gave the Redbud Allée and the Winter Walk new pathways. I love how she left grass down the middle and planted it with spring flowers. The redbuds were in bloom this time and a copper beech at the end of the allée had retained its glowing leaves. Stunning. One of my favorite walks at Northview.

Redbud Allée (Left)  and Winter Walk (Right) with new pathways

Following our tour, we returned to the Carriage House for an excellent lunch. When the other guests had left, Janet, H.H. and I enjoyed an extended visit with Jenny Rose and Hanna, her lovely head gardener. We drank tea and talked gardens. How blessed I am to have such wonderful, like-minded friends.

Referring to a list of herbaceous blooms that grow at Northview, I see Sanguinaria canadensis Bloodroot listed, but I didn't notice it on my visit. I was thrilled when, on my return home, I found mine was blooming.
 
Sanguinaria canadensis Bloodroot in my Serenity Garden

My very late Forsythia blooms today

I am especially happy to see my miniature cherry tree with blossoms, pictured bottom left in the following collage. It is Snow fountain cherry Prunus x 'Snofozam.'

More of my spring blooms.

Based on my tour, I developed a wish list of plants to purchase for my own gardens. It includes Anemone blando Windflower, Epimedium Witches hat, Fritillaria meneagris Checkered lily (already ordered), and I may try Trillium again (no luck previously.) And, of course, I want to add some unusual daffodils to my collection. I think I will join the American Daffodil Society.

Spring arrived at last in Pennsylvania; my favorite season filled with promise. I left Northview truly inspired. Where are you getting your inspiration this year, dear gardening friends?

Wishing you a happy spring, or whatever season it is in your corner of the world.

Pamela x

**I hope you clicked on some of the links in this posting for more information.**





I love reading your comments. I hope you leave one so I’ll know you visited! 
I look forward to visiting your blog in return.

30 comments:

  1. This is such a nice summary of a lovely day at Northview Gardens. The presentation by Jenny Rose, the tour, and the pleasant conversation afterwards - all very delightful.
    Now I can't wait to get digging and planting! I'm inspired!

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    1. So glad you could come with us, Janet. Another nice memory to add to those of our long friendship. I am so happy you have decided to become a gardener. And who better to inspire you than Jenny Rose!!

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  2. What a wonderful tour. I'm a big fan of daffodils, so many varieties, there's something amongst them all to appeal to everyone. I have some in my own garden which were already in the ground before we came to live here and we've now been here nearly twenty five years and they're still going strong. I love snakeshead fritillaries, I have some in my garden but they always attract the lily beetle so watch out for that.

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    1. Thanks for the warning. I have Turks cap lilies, and hardy lilies and the beetle hasn't found them yet. I'll be on the look out!

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  3. Everything looks so pretty. We are having a late spring too.

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    1. I just popped over to your blog, Betty, and see you are planning a new garden in your backyard. How exciting. Enjoy!

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  4. Oh my, a private tour. I can see how you would be inspired to try new things, that's one great reason to visit other gardens.

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    1. I never turn down the opportunity to visit another garden,Pat.

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  5. The rain would not have stopped me either! It was a fantastic tour which is where I get my inspiration...from my garden blogger friends.
    Jeannie@GetMeToTheCountry.blogspot.com

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    1. You are right, Jeannie. Garden blogs are very inspiring.

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  6. Lovely tour of Northview Gardens (make your own sunshine) what a great attitude. Things are shaping up in your own garden and how satisfying to see the Sanguinaria canadensis in bloom.

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    1. My friend Janet has a very positive attitude. I like to surround myself with people like that.

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  7. Beautiful garden, also love the snakeshead Fritillarias. I have them too in my garden but they are not very easy and are sporadically multiplying. They need really wet soil.

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    1. Good to know they need wet soil. Thank you.

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  8. Thank you for the garden tour. How lovely. No wonder you were inspired. I'm sure the results of your inspiration will be beautiful and I look forward to seeing them!

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    1. Thank you, Dorothy. It's always fun to order new plants.

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  9. Wow, I love the double paths and allee, and all those spring blooms! It's a shame it rained the whole time but it looks like the three of you were prepared and made the best of it.
    I was out for hours today in the cold wind. Only a little rain, but I was thrilled to have the time to enjoy the outdoors. Unfortunately I was busy most of the time cleaning my MIL's yard... but I did get a few things done in my own garden :)
    You'll enjoy the American Daffodil Society. I'm an on again off again member and if it's new varieties you'd like, try to drop in on one of their meetings. There are always spare bulbs lol

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    1. You are a good son-in-law, Frank. I'm looking forward to the exploring the American Daffodil Society. I'll look for a 'local' meeting.

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  10. Such intrepid gardeners you are! And for a great reward. Beautiful!

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  11. Fabulous highlights of spring gardens! You are just ahead of me now. Our Forsythias are just starting to bloom, as are the Virginia Bluebells. Some people around here have Bloodroot blooming, but mine isn't up yet. Hellebores are about at peak. Lovely photos, Pam!

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    1. The garden we visited is south of here and is way ahead of my garden. Gives us something to look forward to.

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  12. Never mind the rain, that sounds like a glorious day! I so enjoy touring gardens such as Northview and always walk away - reluctantly ;) - inspired to try out a new variety, method or grouping in my own garden.

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    1. Visiting gardens is one of my favorite pastimes! I try not to get too envious.

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  13. What a fabulous tour....spring is late here and we had cold and snow again....but wow that is one lovely garden. I too love Epimedium and hope to see mine soon. I hope you can get trillium growing. Mine took years to grow and has yet to fill in....a slow grower.

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    1. It's cold again here today, Donna. Weird weather all over. I've tried trillium before with no success. Maybe I'll give it a miss. I ordered the frittilaria though.

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  14. I look forward to seeing your fritillaries in bloom - if I lived in the right climate I would love to have a drift of them!

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    1. Planting in drifts is the loveliest way to go!

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  15. I enjoyed your trip and think the rainy weather makes the blooms better for photographing (rather than harsh direct sun.) Keep us posted on the results of your purchases.
    Ray

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    1. I agree that photography works well in the rain -- if you can protect the camera from getting wet. So glad my husband helped out with the umbrella.

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